Legislative Update: Strengthening Port Security

The U.S. House of Representatives in May overwhelmingly voted to pass H.R. 4954, the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act (SAFE). The act focuses on enhancing the security at U.S. ports, preventing threats from reaching the U.S., and tracking and protecting containers en route to the country.

The main provisions of the bill include the following:

*Requiring the Department of Homeland Security to scan inbound containers for radiation

*Check all port employees against terrorist watch lists

*Establish a standards for securing containers with 180 days

*Coucting additional research on port security technology

SAFE mandates that the Department of Homeland Security have enough radiation monitors in place to check 98% of the cargo coming into the U.S. by Septemeber 2007, the end of the next fiscal year. The legislation also proposes spending more than $5.5 billion over six years to strengthen port security at 140 locations.

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